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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Co-Ed Murdered at University of Virginia
Aired May 3, 2010 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a gorgeous college athlete killed in cold blood at the University of Virginia. Yeardley Love was only 22 years old. Now her boyfriend and fellow lacrosse player has been charged with her murder. Tonight, we`ll go inside the investigation.
And terror in Times Square. An SUV packed full of explosives, found in the middle of New York City. Tonight, the failed mystery terrorists are still roaming the Big Apple. Could they strike again? I`ll talk to the courageous Vietnam vet street vendor who helped stop the attack.
Plus, addict nation out of control. Is Lindsay Lohan headed for jail? Tonight, there are new claims she`s violated her parole and could end up behind bars. Is hard time the only way for these kids to sober up? We`ll also hear from Michael Douglas, just days after his drug-addicted son heads to the slammer.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, breaking news, the vicious murder of a star lacrosse player rocks the University of Virginia. Stunning 22-year-old coed Yeardley Love is dead, and cops say her murderer is a fellow university student, reportedly her ex-boyfriend. Police discovered the body of Yeardley Love, a star player on the women`s lacrosse team, after getting a call from her roommate who thought Yeardley had O.D.`d on alcohol.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POLICE CHIEF TOM LONGO, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA, POLICE DEPARTMENT: Patrol officers arrived on the scene. It was quickly apparent to them that this young lady was the victim of something far worse. There were obvious physical injuries to her body, which prompted them to immediately secure the crime scene. Twenty-two-year-old Yeardley Love was dead upon our arrival there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops will not say exactly what physical injuries she had on her body. And until the autopsy results are back, there`s still no official cause of death.
Cops are also staying very tight-lipped about why or what evidence led them to make such a swift arrest of that man right there, only 22 himself. But hours after Yeardley`s body was found, cops charged fellow University of Virginia student George Huguely with first-degree murder in connection with her death. The 6`2", 209-pound Huguely is also -- get this -- a star lacrosse player at UVA.
As we speak tonight, the UVA campus is reeling in devastation and disbelief. So many unanswered questions, but we`re going to try to get some answers right now. And I`m taking your calls on this tragedy: 1-877- JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
Now straight out to my outstanding panel of experts: Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst; Pat Brown, criminal profiler and CEO of the Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency; Robin Sachs, former prosecutor and author of "Predators and Child Molesters"; Nick Madigan, reporter with "The Baltimore Sun"; and Julie Bercik, reporter with HLN affiliate WVIR. Also joining me by phone, very important guest, Chief Tim Longo from the Charlottesville, Virginia, Police Department.
But we begin with Julie Bercik.
Tell us. What is the very latest in this fast-breaking case?
JULIE BERCIK, REPORTER, WVIR: Jane, good evening.
The latest is that the life of this beautiful, talented, 22-year-old lacrosse player came to a tragic end early this morning. And at the center of it all, her friend, rumored to be her boyfriend, 22-year-old George Huguely, has been arrested and, as you said, Jane, charged with first- degree murder.
Now, reaction around UVA`s campus came as a shock to everyone. The campus is in a state of mourning, particularly Yeardley`s sorority. The Kappa Alpha Theta members, they are in a state of shock right now. No memorials set yet for that. But everyone just reacting to this news.
Jane, we were on that scene this morning and we talked to almost everyone that walked up and down. Once we had confirmation of what happened, people were shocked when we talked to...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say, did you talk to anybody who knows the victim or the suspect? And if so, what did they say about their relationship?
BERCIK: Jane, no one said much about their relationship. Now, I did talk to a young lady who took this news, I mean, crying as we told her. She knew both of them. She said that she didn`t know of anything with a troubled relationship, but she was very close friends with Yeardley, didn`t know too much about George, but said that Yeardley was just a very, very outstanding person.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Were they still dating?
BERCIK: That we do not know at this time. We do know they had a relationship. Not sure if it was a current relationship as of last night.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, Nick, do you have any more information before we go to the chief about their relationship?
NICK MADIGAN, REPORTER, "BALTIMORE SUN": No. We know that they were dating, as we just heard. And it`s unclear whether she had wanted to leave him. We`re just guessing at this point. But we have a reporter down in Charlottesville at the moment who`s trying to find out some more of those very details.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Chief Tim Longo, I know there`s a lot you can`t tell us. We want to know, for example, how were you able to so quickly connect the dots to this student? What was going on in that house that night that you get a call at 2:15 in the morning, "Come over, I think that this young lady has passed out from alcohol poisoning or O.D.`d on alcohol," and you get there, and she`s dead with physical injuries? What can you tell us to fill in some of the blanks here?
LONGO (via phone): Well, I think first and foremost, you need to understand there is just an incredibly somber atmosphere here in Charlottesville, and particularly on the grounds of the university. People are just completely blown away, and as you said, devastated by this news.
It was extremely apparent to the officers that first responded on the scene of that call that there was serious physical injuries to this young lady. She was dead on arrival. It was clear that we had a crime scene that needed to be immediately secured and homicide and forensic investigators called in immediately to begin the process of putting a puzzle back together.
Can`t go into the specific facts that led us to Mr. Huguely other than to say early on in the investigation he became a focus another some point in the early hours of the morning, probable cause developed to seek a charging document for him, and that was swiftly done. And he was charged with first-degree murder.
But the investigation is still early. We`re still, as you were all, trying to talk to friends and family members.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Chief, could I ask you this? Where was he arrested?
LONGO: Our first encounter with him was at his apartment, just a few blocks away. He came to the police department to speak with investigators voluntarily. At some point thereafter, probable cause developed, and we saw the charging document for his arrest.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. This is such a tragedy. These two young students look so full of promise, and -- and this is just hideous.
Police wouldn`t say what evidence, as you just heard from the chief, who`s so kind to come on tonight, or why they arrested fellow UVA student George Huguely, but they did it fast and that means something. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LONGO: Fairly quickly George Huguely, who`s also a student at the University of Virginia, both seniors at the institution, he became the focus of our investigation. And suffice it to say by early morning, probable cause existed for us to take him into custody, and obtain warrants for his arrest. He since has been charged with first-degree murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s a bizarre connection to the Duke lacrosse team sex scandal here. After that team had been suspended, but before the accused players had been cleared of sexually assaulting a woman, George told "The Washington Post" he sympathized for the team. That`s his quote.
In response to the scandal, George`s father reportedly told his son to, quote, "learn from this experience and take what you can from it," end quote.
So Pat Brown, you`re the criminal profiler. We know very little, but what can you deduce?
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, first of all, I think the probable cause would come from the fact it was a violent assault. Someone would think that possibly something on his body, some kind of injuries to him that would link him to the crime.
And as far as I can see, you know, we`re shocked that these are two really -- these are students that are doing well in life. They`re at college, on the lacrosse team. This man doesn`t look like the type that should do something like this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I never believe that type thing. Because that`s a bunch of stereotyping.
BROWN: We don`t expect it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t think just because somebody looks clean cut, that means that they`re clean cut or they`re not -- they don`t look like the kind of person to commit a crime.
BROWN: I agree. I agree. What I`m trying to say is people don`t expect this. And I think what we might be looking at is an issue of entitlement. So sometimes you`re growing up, and you`re doing extremely well, you feel entitled, and that can cause a lot of problems with some people, where they feel that they`re entitled to the woman they want, and entitled to get everything they want. And they don`t get it, they can go into a rage. So my guess would be entitlement is somewhere behind this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, what do you make of the fact that police made this arrest so swiftly? I mean, they didn`t get the call until 2:15 this morning. It`s 7 p.m. tonight. He`s been arrested for hours.
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: We just heard chief Longo with the Charlottesville Police Department, an excellent department there, and I guarantee you that they had probable cause, to charge him. Those are charges that they`re probably going to make stick.
But most likely, Jane, these were visible injuries. And there possibly could have been also witnesses that either saw or heard Huguely going to or from her apartment.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Chief Longo, Longo, I`ve got to ask you this, chief.
LONGO (via phone): Go ahead.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was there alcohol involved in this? Because the fact that the co-eds say, hey, we think she O.D.`d on alcohol, that says something, that there was alcohol being consumed there.
LONGO: Obviously, we don`t know her level of intoxication at all until such time as the autopsy results come back. The fact that her roommate made such a call would lead one to believe that alcohol may have been an issue, as it relates to her. I don`t know what relationship -- or I should say can`t comment on what relationship it may have had with respect to him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Everybody, stay where you are. We are just getting started on this tragedy. The phone lines are lighting up. We`re going to get to you on the other side of the break. A college student killed in cold blood. Now her boyfriend is under arrest, and we are taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Plus terror -- and I mean terror -- in the Big Apple. So many unanswered questions. Who did it? Will they strike again? How bad could this attack have been? We`re going to talk to a hero who helped stop it in action.
But first, Yeardley Love, only 22. What happened to this beautiful young woman?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hear an explosion?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did we hear it? Of course we heard it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A big boom or what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A big boom. A big boom. Everybody started scattering. There was panic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LONGO: Patrol officers arrived on the scene. It was quickly apparent to them that this young lady was the victim of something far worse. There were obvious physical injuries to her body, which prompted them to immediately secure the crime scene.
Twenty-two-year-old Yeardley Love was dead upon our arrival there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, breaking news. The vicious murder of a star lacrosse player rocks the University of Virginia. A stunning 22-year-old coed is dead, and cops say her murderer is a fellow university student, reportedly her ex-boyfriend.
New information just coming in. But first, phone lines lighting up. Joy, text us your question or thought. Joy?
CALLER: Yes. I`d like to know why did her roommate not see these bruises and everything on her and why she thought that it could be an alcohol overdose. And also how did they zone in on the ex-boyfriend so quickly?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Chief Longo, what can you tell us about all that?
LONGO (via phone): Well, I think the first question is a logical one. and I don`t frankly know the answer to it. It may possibly be that the position of her body at the time that the roommate observed her was such that the injuries were not as apparent as when we arrived on the scene.
With respect to why he became the focus of our attention so early on, I`m really not in a position to be able to disclose that at this time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can I ask you what injuries? I mean, were these...
LONGO: Yes. I don`t want to go into the extent or the type of her injuries other than to say that they were obvious and apparent.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Julie Bercik, reporter, you have new information about activities at UVA tonight.
BERCIK: Well, yes, Jane. Tonight we are just told that coaches will meet with the players tonight to discuss some of this matter going on. Our reporter on the field has told us that. So that meeting will happen sometime this evening.
But, Jane, I can also tell you just a little bit of what I learned about this neighborhood and walking through it. You know, it`s a typical college street. But in talking to a lot of the people that live there, they tell me lacrosse members live a couple of blocks down and that in a house and that, you know, it`s a typical college area. There are parties Thursday through Saturday night. And they tell me a lot of time when the lacrosse team partied, they really did party.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So that`s another piece of the puzzle there. Nick Madigan, you`re a reporter for "The Baltimore Sun." What do you know about the victim?
MADIGAN: Well, we`ve been looking into her a lot today because she`s from -- she`s from this area, from a town just north of Baltimore called Cockeysville, and she was a standout lacrosse player at a school there called Notre Dame Preparatory in Townsend.
And everyone remembers her as a delightful human being, friendly and happy. One of her -- the principal of the school told us today that she would never forget Yeardley`s contagious smile. And she quoted to us from an essay that Yeardley wrote, while she was at, Notre Dame, in which she said, "My life has been filled with joy and happiness, and I hope to keep living my life that way."
So she was obviously a sweetheart, if all this is true. Her lacrosse coach at the school said that -- that she had a picture in her office of the lacrosse team taken a few years ago, and it shows the team members, all of them cracking up because Yeardley was singing to them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you can kind of see from her expression, and you can tell a lot from a photo, she`s not only beautiful -- let`s face it, she`s a gorgeous young lady, great smile, and she looks like everything you describe.
In fact, Yeardley Love was a senior at the University of Virginia. She was a varsity lacrosse player and a striking beauty.
The circumstances of this coed`s murder are in some ways similar, perhaps, to those of Morgan Harrington. Let`s say this. There are some commonalities. Morgan Harrington was gorgeous, 20-year-old coed. She was found murdered after she left a rock concert at the University of Virginia. Morgan`s killer is still at large. Her parents are devastated. We`ve had them here at ISSUES often.
And then there is stunning Annie Le, a brilliant medical researcher at Yale University. She was brutally murdered, allegedly by a lab technician just five days before she was set to get married.
My big issue, Mike Brooks, is it dangerous to be a beautiful co-ed? Does it make you a target of young males who may have emotional or psychological problems?
BROOKS: You know, that`s always a possibility, Jane, especially in a -- you know, in an atmosphere of a university. But it can happen anywhere, not just at university. It can happen anywhere in the city. You know, we go back to a number of cases we`ve been covering here. It can happen in a restaurant, in a bar, on the street.
But it`s just very, very sad. You look at these two young lacrosse players, down at UVA. And, I mean you look at Huguely. He is -- went to the prestigious Landon School in Bethesda. But still that does not say that someone could, under the certain circumstances, wind up murdering someone they love.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Matt, Tennessee, your question or thought.
CALLER: Yes, Jane. I was wondering with George Huguely, did he have a past criminal history or emotional problems that anyone knew of?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Chief, that would be public record if he has any kind of a criminal history. Could you tell us yea or nay?
LONGO: I`m not aware of any criminal history. Certainly, prior actions and prior propensities will be part of what we will look at from an investigative standpoint, but I can`t comment on that issue at this point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But as far as you know, he does not have a rap sheet, per se?
LONGO: No, as far as I know, at least locally, I`m not aware of any criminal history that he has or he`s been arrested.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a tragedy all the way around.
Fantastic panel, stay right where you are. We are hunting for justice and answers. A young college student, intelligent, beautiful, talented, popular, dead, murdered. We`re going to go inside the investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEONARD SANDRIDGE, EVP, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: As you can imagine, the entire university community is both shocked and saddened over the news today of Ms. Love`s death, by the hand of a murderer. But that shock and disappointment and concern, of course, is magnified by the fact that she was murdered by one of our own.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Allegedly, at this point. It`s just a charge. University of Virginia vice president reacting to the murder of, quote, "one of their own."
Robin Sachs, former sex crimes prosecutor, this didn`t happen on campus. It was off campus, but it was involving, according to police, two students. Could the school get sued?
ROBIN SACHS, FORMER SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR: Well, the school has a liability and responsibility in terms of making sure that their students are safe. There is going to be the question of what was in this guy`s history that could have potentially been a warning sign or a red flag that may have gone unnoticed, like in the Annie Le case.
But if those signs and symptoms were not present, and this could just be any type of domestic type of relationship gone awry that -- where this person may have snapped, like Mike said.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t want to jump to conclusions, Pat Brown, but when I hear the dad telling the son, "Hey, take a look at this Duke situation and learn from it," that kind of tells me maybe this young man, maybe, maybe, had some kind of reputation as a partier.
BROWN: Well, Jane, I might say that -- I might say that to my son, too. Look, don`t get yourself in a situation with a bunch of other people that are going to get you in trouble.
But he also, like you said, may have been warning his son because he`s seen behaviors in past where his son has done things, where he thought he had the right to do whatever he wanted with no respect to the others involved, perhaps women. So I think that may be a telltale sign. And we`re going to have to see what his past behaviors have shown.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what I find fascinating, Mike Brooks, is that the autopsy certainly hasn`t come back. The call came in at 2:15 this morning and yet such a quick arrest. Obviously, this young man lived nearby. They went over there. They talked to him.
What do you think happened during that conversation that resulted in such a quick arrest and a charge of first-degree murder, which is different from, let`s say, manslaughter or something?
BROOKS: Well, we know the premeditation, Jane, can happen in the blink of an eye. But you know, I have to agree with Chief Longo. Most likely when the roommate came in and maybe tried to wake her, didn`t turn her over.
But when law enforcement got there, there were obvious signs of most likely trauma, maybe a strangulation, where it`s all speculation right now. But it was enough.
And maybe as I said, possible witness -- somebody might have seen him, and maybe they had been seen together earlier that evening, where she was consuming the alcohol that the roommate thought initially that she was unconscious from alcohol poisoning.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Patrice, Florida, quick question.
CALLER: Hi, Jane. I have a comment and a question. First, I agree that there is open season on females. Question, was there anyone in the apartment or the surrounding area that heard a commotion between these two?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we don`t know that at this time. But, Julie Bercik, what are you hearing about -- anything about their relationship?
BERCIK: Well, Jane, right now we don`t really -- we haven`t heard a lot about the relationship. When we were there this morning talking to people about that, they didn`t really know much. Actually, in talking to a lot of people just walking up and down that live in this area, asking them if they knew anything about her, they really didn`t know...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fantastic panel. Thank you so much.
New York City in the crosshairs. I`ll talk to a hero.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Terror in Times Square. An SUV packed full of explosives found in the middle of New York City. Tonight, the failed mystery terrorists are still roaming the Big Apple. Could they strike again? I`ll talk to the courageous Vietnam vet street vendor who helped stop the attack.
Plus, addict nation out of control. Is Lindsay Lohan headed for jail? Tonight, new claims she`s violated her parole and could end up behind bars. Is hard time the only way for these kids to sober up?
We`ll also hear from Michael Douglas, just days after his drug- addicted son heads to the slammer.
Fast breaking developments tonight straight from New York`s Times Square, site of Saturday night`s attempted car bombing. If it weren`t for a couple of veteran street vendors, hundred, if not, thousands of people could have been killed. And the people responsible, they`re still on the loose tonight. They could be anywhere by now.
Plus, we have got brand new information about the SUV involved.
Now, take a look at this important clue. Grainy, surveillance video shows a man changing his shirt in the middle of the sidewalk. Cops aren`t calling him a suspect, but they`d really, really, really like to talk to him. If you recognize that man, call police immediately.
One vendor found himself with a front row seat to potential disaster. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RALLIS GIALABOUKIS, HOT DOG VENDOR: As they were trying to evacuate, you know, move everybody away from it, it just went off inside the car. An explosion went off inside the car.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoever loaded that Nissan Pathfinder with fertilizer and fireworks struck at the very heart of our nation. And who brought them down? A few good men, the core of New York City; my buddies, the street vendors. Men like the fabulous Duane Jackson who I chatted with today in Times Square.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What message would you give to America?
DUANE JACKSON, TIMES SQUARE STREET VENDOR: Be vigilant; be concerned about what`s going on. I`m going to take a ride back around there, yes. And just don`t let the little things -- if you see something suspicious, definitely act on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re talking to hero Duane live right here on ISSUES right now. Great to see you again, Duane.
JACKSON: Yes. Great to be here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m also taking calls. Call me, 1-877-JVM- SAYS. What would you like to ask Duane? Give me a holler.
And joining our panel: a New York visitor, Kevin Redford, whose hotel was right next door to the attempted bombing. Thanks for coming in and talking to us.
But we begin with Duane Jackson, one of the vendors who alerted cops to the smoking SUV. Duane, first of all, I think our entire panel wants to give you a round of applause for what you did.
JACKSON: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are a true hero. Take us back to Saturday night. When did you realize something was wrong? What did you see? What did you do?
JACKSON: Well, instantly when I looked across the street and saw the car there, blocking the bus turning lane and with the keys in it, the car running, I walked over to it and immediately looked inside the car and couldn`t see anybody who was around to say, "This is my car." That got my antenna wires up and I was, like, you know, just saying, "Whose car is this?"
And then shortly after that, one of the mounted police officers came up to me and asked me about the car. I told him I didn`t see who had gotten in it, but was certainly looking to see who that person might be.
And then finally one of the local cops from midtown south, Jason, who I know, came up and we started looking in the car with this flashlight and the car windows were black, couldn`t see in the car; and three, four minutes later, that`s when the black smoke started coming out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I notice you`re wearing a Military outfit. And you are a Vietnam veteran. I`ve worked with Vietnam veterans, for example, photographers. I was in a hurricane with one and he was a pathfinder in Vietnam. And he said, "Don`t worry, Jane, I can memorize where we`re going because I was a pathfinder in Vietnam."
Do you think your experience in Vietnam helped you kind of stay alert to -- wow, that`s out of the ordinary?
JACKSON: Well, you know, actually, you know, the military certainly trains you to be cautious and very observant and those are some of the tools I take with me from that experience going forward. And precisely just being alert in Times Square -- I mean we see hundreds of thousands of people every week, 35,000 people in a matter of three or four hours.
And I always tell my guys to be vigilant, to be very conscious of their surroundings because you never know who is watching you. And, you know, we got all kind of incidents from people trying to maybe do a pickpocket thing or giving you a phony $20 bill. So you have to be on your toes certainly in Times Square.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: While this planned act of terrorism was stopped, thank God in time, it did strike fear in the hearts of those folks who were in Times Square Saturday night.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got to go. Everyone, wrap your food up. Let`s go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: People wolfing down fast food, they couldn`t even finish their meals. Maybe that`s a good thing. You could call it the bomb scare diet.
Cops told them get out right now. Then there were workers like Jimmy who had to run for their lives. I was down there at 45th and Broadway and I talked to Jimmy. He was terrified.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell me what the heck happened. What was it like?
JIMMY, WORKS IN TIMES SQUARE: We heard a boom and then the cops went in and told us to get out. They had us right here in front of the store. But then after that they started pushing us more and more back.
After that, it was just -- we just had to wait, we got back to the store like 3:00 in the morning. That`s right. We waited a lot outside standing out there. Nothing like really huge happen. After that, we heard another boom but that was just the cops, I guess.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to bring in Kevin Redford, he`s a witness. He was staying at a hotel right next door. You`ve got a photograph that we want to put up.
Here it is. The Marriott Marquis grand ballroom and look, it is people in their pajamas in beds. Tell us what they did at this hotel, Kevin.
KEVIN REDFORD, WITNESS: Well, first of all, when you go to New York, you always have in the back of your mind that something like this could happen. You try to get along and just forget it could and put it out of your mind. When we went back to Times Square after eating dinner and they told us that the place had been evacuated and our hotel, The Marquis was actually being evacuated. We were kind of displaced at that time.
They finally let us back in around 11:00, and those of us that were located on -- I`m not sure if it was the north or south tower -- but were located in that side of the hotel, we were told to go to the sixth floor and they were going to put us in the ballroom and just put us out there with cops and beverages.
And I can`t thank the Marriott anymore than -- they were perfect for us. They really took care of us. No one showed any fear or concern other than just to make sure everyone was comfortable and getting through it ok.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here is my big issue tonight, misplaced priorities. I`m telling you something, people, we need to upgrade our fight against terrorism right here on U.S. soil. And where should we start? More video surveillance. We need more cameras.
In Great Britain, they have got video cameras all over London to catch would-be terrorists. They`re monitored by people who are actually watching the cameras in real time. They don`t just review the tape after it is too late.
Take a look at the surveillance video of the man cops want to talk to in New York. Look how grainy it is. Why is it in the 21st century we can see things on Mars, but we have got to deal with this video at 45th and Broadway?
You know, normally here I don`t get into politics on ISSUES. But I`m going to start. Because our nation, our tax dollars, more than a trillion dollars spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than a trillion, that`s $100 billion, and it is to stop terrorism. But the terrorism is happening right here on 45th and Broadway -- home grown terrorism.
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: And Jane --
BROOKS: That camera that we`re looking at that we`re trying to find this guy who took the shirt off and had the red shirt on, that was in Junior`s Restaurant. That was in a restaurant that is known for its cheesecake. As you know, it`s right down there near Times Square. That`s where that came from. And they`re trying to enhance that right now.
But there are other cameras. Remember back in 2008, March 2008, Jane, a guy rode up on a ten speed bike at the Army recruiting station, put an improvised explosive device down there and it went off. He drove off on his ten-speed; it`s still an open case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And --
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: And Jane, Jane, I want to say something. I think what we`re not used to is this possible new kind of terrorism. I spent a lot of time in India and things blow up there all the time. You have bicycle bombs and they go off in places where there are tourists and economic areas where the regular citizens are to put terror into the hearts of people by some kind of Islamic extremist group or sometimes Hindu extremist group.
I think we`re going to see this. This is not domestic terrorism. They would have focused on a symbol --
BROWN: -- a church, an abortion clinic, or a government thing. We`re talking about likely this is what we`re seeing here, some Islamic terrorism going on, but now it is going to be the new type. And it is much easier to do and much more scary because they can hit any city, any open space. Just drive up, leave something and walk away.
We are just getting this information in. There is no indication that this is purely a domestic group. So they are exploring connections to an international group.
But, Duane, I want to back to you. They found -- everything that they found in that car, I could have bought, in fact I buy a lot of it for the Fourth of July. You`re talking about propane tanks that are used in barbecues. You`re talking about red plastic jugs of gasoline and firecrackers.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then, of course, eight bags of fertilizer. Isn`t the scariest thing here is that anybody, any knuckle head can put this stuff together and they didn`t get lucky this time, but they could?
JACKSON: Well, that was one of my first reactions -- you know, in hindsight looking at it now. When I looked into the car, couldn`t see anything, and then found out later that night that it was these things that you could get, like you say, at any hardware store, things that you have around your house, and that we were just that close.
I mean, had I gone to that car and it had gone off at that particular point, the damage that could have been done for blocks and blocks around from simple materials and the fertilizer -- I mean, certainly, everybody remembers the Oklahoma City thing.
So, you know, in hindsight, thinking about those type of things, we certainly dodged a bullet.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes and that`s -- that`s my point is that we talk about stopping terrorism. But every time I open the paper and I read about one of these -- these things, it`s some person who was born and raised in Queens or Brooklyn and they become radicalized and we`re over there fighting a bunch of people, you know, in caves and mountains and the people who are pulling off a lot of this stuff are right from the five boroughs or some place in the United States.
So why don`t we focus --
JACKSON: It`s an ideology.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. It`s a state of mind.
Why don`t we focus some of our security here and some of the billions here, for security cameras in Times Square?
All right, fantastic panel. Thank you so much.
And one more round for Duane -- we love you, Duane.
JACKSON: Thank you so much.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Coming up, a destructive oil spill wreaking havoc on the Gulf Coast, destroying wildlife, destroying our local economies. When are we going to stand up and say enough is enough?
Plus, is Lindsay Lohan headed to the slammer?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is Lindsay Lohan headed to the slammer? That`s next.
But first "Top of the Block".
The horror of the Gulf oil spill is becoming very apparent. They say it could end up worse than the Exxon Valdez disaster back in 1989. The environmental and economic consequences are staggering. Call it Katrina 2.
All this happening just a few weeks after President Obama proposed opening vast areas of America`s coastlines to drilling, a move that left environmentalists including myself devastated.
I want to tear my hair out when I hear people saying we need to drill to create jobs. Look at all the jobs we`re losing with this oily disaster as beaches close, as sea life dies, as tourism fades, as property values fall and commercial fishing shuts down.
As for fuel, we could all be driving electric cars by now except America`s auto industry kept killing the electric car while pushing gas- guzzling SUVs. It is really time to wake up and switch to electric en masse. The technology is there. Perhaps this spill will give us the will.
And that is tonight`s "Top of the Block".
Turning now to addicts in Hollywood: is prison the only clear path to sobriety? Take Michael Douglas` out of control drug-addicted son Cameron. He got a five-year sentence last month for heroin possession and dealing meth. That is half the recommended minimum sentence. Do you think average Joes get that kind of leniency? Heck no.
Michael Douglas opened up about his son`s punishment on NBC`s "Today Show".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL DOUGLAS, ACTOR: Look, my son was a drug dealer, and he`s been trying to kill himself for a while, and I can`t condone his behavior. So I think the court recognized his drug addiction as well as the crime that he committed. And it`s an adequate, I think, amount of time for anybody who wants to spend in jail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Will Lindsay Lohan also be headed to the slammer? TMZ reports the actress could go to jail for skipping court- ordered alcohol education classes, but her attorney insists Lindsay went to makeup sessions and is now in full compliance with her probation.
Hollywood TV released this bizarre footage just last week of a recent Lindsay photo shoot. She`s half naked and covered in fake blood and she`s got a gun to her mouth half the time.
With multiple drug arrests and three rehab stints, what will it take for Lindsay to clean up? Is prison the only answer?
Straight out to my fantastic panel: Howard Samuels, addiction specialist and founder and CEO of The Hills Treatment Center, there you are.
HOWARD SAMUELS, FOUNDER & CEO, THE HILLS TREATMENT CENTER: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we also are going to begin with Michael Lewittes, founder of GossipCop.com.
Michael, you have actually been in contact with Lindsay recently. Tell us all about that. That`s got to be fascinating.
MICHAEL LEWITTES, FOUNDER, GOSSIPCOP.COM: Well, when there was talk about her father Michael Lohan wanting to get a conservatorship she reached out to me and she told me he won`t ever get that. She is defiant.
Now of course we have to realize that there are a lot of allegations about her, but she is steadfast in her thoughts and what she wants out publicly, that she`s fine.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but look, TMZ is saying she is not completing her alcohol rehab classes as ordered. You`re supposed to go every week. And she apparently, according to her attorney, skips a couple of weeks and then does like two sessions at once to make up. Why is it that this Hollywood stars always have to do it their way? They can never just follow the rules?
LEWITTES: Well, that`s true. A lot of celebrities do feel that they can do it their way, but there may be extenuating circumstances. You show that footage of her doing a photo shoot and perhaps one of the reasons she couldn`t do it was because she had that photo shoot. She`s off and going to do promotions around the country.
Now, I`m not saying that that`s excusable. She should really work around her alcohol classes, but sometimes these celebrities do miss it and unless they inform the court, then it`s really not a problem.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I see a problem because Lindsay Lohan has been to rehab three times. She`s been arrested for cocaine possession, pulled over for DUI, she`s also being sued over a wild car chase she had back in 2007.
Now you have to wonder, why isn`t she in prison? Ok, and would that maybe help clean her up? Her dad doesn`t think so.
Here is a clip from TMZ.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOHAN: I don`t think jail is good for anybody. I think it`s definitely not rehabilitative (ph) -- I don`t think jail is good for anybody unless you`re a murderer or you committed a major crime and that`s it.
I think that -- you know when people have problems -- with drug problems they need to be in rehab and prison and jails do not provide for rehabilitation from drugs. Trust me I`ve been there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, Howard Samuels, addiction specialist, dad Michael has got a point. You know we need treatment not incarceration but here is my problem. We are locking up hundreds of thousands of poor people, mostly minorities, for drug offenses and throwing them away for 20 years, but these stars, they are the ones who get the special treatment. It`s a double standard.
HOWARD SAMUELS, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Well, I have to tell you, Jane. I mean that`s where an overhaul of the whole system is needed.
You know, I don`t care if you have money, if you don`t have money, where you come from, you can`t go to prison if you have a drug problem. That`s not going to solve the problem. That`s going to create more problems.
People who get arrested for drugs need to be sent to treatment for a year or two years, not 30 days. And it needs to be treatment and rehab to save these people`s lives. We have a crisis in this country.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on Lindsay in a second. I agree.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL LOHAN, LINDSAY LOHAN`S FATHER: I`m not knocking the treatment centers that she went to already. But when people go -- when people with addiction problems go into a treatment center, I don`t think they should go in without being off prescription drugs and come out being on prescription drugs. Every time Lindsay went through a rehab, they put her on more and more prescription drugs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go straight to Howard Samuels to react to that. You`re an addiction specialist. Did she end up leaving with more drugs than when she went in?
SAMUELS: Well, I can`t talk about her, but I can talk about that Michael is very naive when it comes to anti-depressants. Most people when they`re drug addicts, they`re medicating themselves and a lot of them because they have a chemical imbalance.
So when you go into treatment, you have to treat the whole system. And an anti-depressant is not habit-forming, it is part of what`s needed to stem the addiction.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Interesting, because that was kind of the Cory Haim debate, too, because he had some kind of addiction specialist who was reportedly giving him pills to get off pills, and that didn`t work so well for him.
HOWARDS: Yes but -- right. Well, what Cory was getting was, you know, Oxycontin and Soma and Xanax. Those are not antidepressants. Those are habit-forming, and that`s the fight that we have to have against those drugs where people have a legitimate chemical imbalance. There are drugs that are real antidepressants that are in a whole different class that are needed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to get to my big issue, and it involves Lindsay and Cameron Douglas. That`s entitled justice.
Cameron Douglas got half -- half the recommended minimum sentence. Most criminals don`t have high-priced lawyers and movie star parents writing letters to the judge for leniency.
Here is his dad on NBC`s "Today Show".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL DOUGLAS, ACTOR: The difficulty is he has been in prison waiting for sentencing for almost a year. And the unknown part of that was really, really difficult.
But as I say in my letter, my son has not been sober for this length of time since he was 13 years old. So he was going to be dead or somebody was going to kill him. And I think he has a chance to start a new life and he knows that. From my understanding it does take that amount of time for him to rebuild and start himself afresh.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Carlos Diaz, all this compassion for Cameron. What about all the other people who are doing 20, 30, or life for less serious offenses because they don`t have superstar parents?
CARLOS DIAZ, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: Yes. But you know, I mean -- and I love you, Jane. I`m going to disagree with you on this one.
What is Michael Douglas supposed to do, sit back and let his son get the maximum, 10 years, 15, 20? I mean he did what any father would do, Michael Douglas, Kirk Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones.
You know they all wrote letters to the judge asking for leniency because they`re being good parents and good grandparents in this situation. And they did what anyone else would do.
It`s up to the judge as to whether the judge is going to listen. And you know what, five years for Cameron Douglas is a lifetime to other people because he`s been pampered his entire life and to be behind bars for five years is going to be very sobering.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I love you too, Carlos, but I disagree that he suffers pain more significantly than somebody who is poor and from the inner city. I`ll give you that, Howard Samuels.
SAMUELS: Well, I have to tell you, I`m a convicted felon, Jane, and I was arrested for heroin and cocaine and the judge gave me a choice of a year in prison -- no, four years in prison or a year in rehab. Obviously I took rehab. It was one of the things that saved my life.
I have to say we need to have mandatory rehab programs here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly. Let`s show compassion for everybody, not just the children of movie stars. Let`s revamp the system.
Thank you fantastic panel.